Ricardo Guzmán, CICS researcher and DCCS Professor: “A Moral Philosophy that makes sense, has to be pluralistic”

Moral epistemology is the branch of Philosophy that, in general terms, addresses the issue of how to know if an action is good or bad. Its objective is to understand the way in which people determine or realize what is right and what is wrong and if this is determined by reason or intuition.

Ricardo Guzmán.

In early 2018, the researcher at the Research Center for Social Complexity (CICS) of the Faculty of Government of the Universidad del Desarrollo, Ricardo Guzmán, together with the researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, participated in the Handbook of Moral Epistemology – Routledge publishing house- whose content is composed of articles developed by various philosophers dedicated to the study of moral epistemology that, after reviewing the existing literature, give views, arguments and positions against the justification of different actions.

Thus, the researchers developed the article The Evolution of Moral Cognition, in which they argue the way in which morality is composed of a set of moral intuitions, based on modules that are not connected, but rather separated from each other. The moral thesis presented in the document is that, having all these moral intuitions – unrelated to each other – the idea of ​​a monistic moral philosophy basing everything on the same principle, such as maximizing the welfare of humanity, is not compatible with our psychology and moral cognition. Guzmán says that “a moral philosophy that makes sense, has to be pluralistic: you cannot reduce everything to a great principle, but there is a set of moral principles that are separate from each other and that, in addition, can contradict each other,” he concludes.

Read the full chapter here.

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